Working from Home is More Productive

When most of us think about getting a job in the future, we have a usual notion of seeing ourselves sitting in an office somewhere, hopefully lucky enough to have our own cubicle. However, more and more workers are beginning to work from home over the past decade, and it has people wondering; is working from home more of less efficient? According to numerous studies, it is been shown to actually improve efficiency and work better than a traditional office space! This data is certainly not in line with what someone might think about a home environment. No supervision? More distractions? Seems implausible right?

To reach an answer we first  must look at the studies made about this claim. Much of the research done is within a business itself, often to show the upper level management the affects of working at home. One company looked at the number of calls the different workers took from the different environments. They gave their employees the opportunity to volunteer to work at home for nine months. They then chose half of the volunteers and allowed them to work from home, and kept the other half in a traditional work environment. Their results showed a 13.5% increase in the amount of calls taken. They benefits shown also included an increase in employee satisfaction and a decrease in turnover rate (employees who quit). The company also saved thousands per employee on office space and furniture.

The results of the company certainly are intriguing. If true, they could be replicated across many company platforms and revolutionize the way companies work, literally. However the study was only within a very specific company and focuses only on one part of their productivity. By looking at their data, it does seem plausible their X variable (work at home) does in fact cause Y (increased productivity). However there is no proof of causation in their study. Their study was not randomized, and they took volunteers that already wanted to work at home. This may show how they already want to work at home, therefor their productivity will increase no matter what. Or, these individuals may be affected by another variable that affects both X and Y. There is not enough concrete evidence to assume this is true.

Many people and business owners are still skeptical. For example, Marissa Mayer, the executive of Yahoo, recently decided that all employees must come into and work from an office, or they can quit. For such a drastic move it is easy to assume they have put a lot of thought into the decision. Also, there could be downsides to this in some industries as opposed to others. The rate of promotion for employees out of the office also dropped. What should a business do in this battlefield of pros, cons, and unproven results? I think it largely depends on the business and their own decisions. If they feel the previous research fits their model then they could use it to influence their decisions and review their actual results. Or they could make decisions on their own such as the Yahoo example. What do you think is the right place for workers?

4 thoughts on “Working from Home is More Productive

  1. Alexander William Beitel

    I found this post to be really interesting as my Dad works from home. Although I believe that I personally would not be efficient in my home. This comes from the fact that in my dorm room I am already unable to focus and work consistently. If that were to be applied to my house, the work would just not get done. In contrast, my Dad works from a home office and he is typically able to complete all his work in a reasonable amount of time. However, to contradict your post, there have been times when he has been up working into he small hours of the nigh (such as myself now) to complete work that would have been done without the distraction of my family. Nonetheless, I believe that this post was well written with supporting links in regard to both sides of the spectrum.

  2. Yuxing Cai

    I have learn this from my Employment relationship class, it is related to the work and life’s balance. The research has shown that the worker who has more flexibility on work are more productive and they could have more private time to spend on than before; however, working at home is only fits to certain occupation, but for other which can’t work at home like fisherman, driver, it is also crucial to consider their position too.

  3. sjl5595

    Hello, I really appreciate this piece of blog. I think it mentioned a part that people are actually more productive working at home than working in an office. Normally people sit in front a desk and face to a computer typing letters which the whole thing they called work can be take place either in office or home. According to this blog, people are homesick to place they familiar with so they have more motivation conditions working in home than in offices which can be a revolution to the workplace in the future.

  4. Walt

    Especially in the age of the internet, working from home is becoming more and more common. My dad currently uses my old bedroom as his office and he loves it. He never has to deal with the stress or time loss of commuting. Also, since I am the baby of the family, he is able to be at home with my mother to support her be supported during this transition. Working from home also allows the employee to be better at time management. Their work day is more flexible which makes them more content.

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